Linehouse uses typically urban materials inside Xiamen's JNBY store

Interiors of JNBY store in Xiamen, China feature concrete, steel and glass

Concrete, steel and fluted glass merge inside this shop that design studio Linehouse has created for fashion brand JNBY in Xiamen, China.

Chinese cities were a key point of reference for Linehouse, which has decked out JNBY’s Xiamen store with materials often seen in dense urban settings – concrete, glass and steel.

The interior aesthetic of this JNBY store will be rolled out across all of the brand’s future locations in China – one branch has already opened in Chengdu, and another is set to open in Changsha.

Interiors of JNBY store in Xiamen, China feature concrete, steel and glass
The JNBY store features a coffered concrete ceiling

The ceiling of the 100-square-metre store is entirely covered with concrete coffers. Each one is bordered by bright-white LED strip lights.

A curved, steel-frame screen inset with panels of fluted glass runs around the periphery of the space, set back from the structural walls. The partition balances on chunky cylindrical blocks made from recycled concrete pavement.

Interiors of JNBY store in Xiamen, China feature concrete, steel and glass
Panels of fluted glass form a screen around the edge of the store

The urban materiality of the store is interrupted by a couple of ceramic display stands, which Linehouse formed by wrapping convex tiles around steel poles that extend from the floor to the ceiling.

Some of the stands have been fitted with a metal ring where garments can be hung, while others have small shelves where accessories can be put on show.

Interiors of JNBY store in Xiamen, China feature concrete, steel and glass
The screen’s glass panels are held within a steel framework

Convex tiles also clad the front of JNBY’s service counter. When viewed up close, customers will be able to see a myriad of cracks, which Linehouse made visible by adding Chinese ink into the tiles’ glaze.

The sculptural bases of the store’s low-lying display tables are made from grainy wood or concrete that the studio has cast against pieces of fabric.

Interiors of JNBY store in Xiamen, China feature concrete, steel and glass
Convex tiles with subtle cracks clad the store’s service counter

“The brand sought a modern approach to capture its core values, focusing on material exploration while guiding urban dwellers in appreciating the surprise and poetry of everyday life,” explained Linehouse.

“So we wanted to contrast the urban represented by the concrete, steel and textured glass with the notion of crafted imperfection represented in the ceramic and timber detailing… they have the qualities of the handmade; variation and contrast.”

Ceramic display stands feature in Xiamen's JNBY store
The same tiles form a couple of vertical display stands

Linehouse was established in 2013 by Alex Mok and Briar Hickling, and works between offices in Shanghai and Hong Kong.

The austere material palette of the JNBY store in Xiamen is a far cry from the studio’s recently completed project, Basehall – an upscale food court in Hong Kong. Inside, the venue features walls lined with pink-metal rods, brass light fittings and a blue metalwork ceiling.

Photography is by Dirk Weiblen.

Project credits:

Architect: Linehouse
Design lead: Alex Mok, Briar Hickling
Design team: Cherngyu Chen, Jingru Tong, Celine Chung

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Femtech brand Mylo gives fertility a fresh look in new identity

Depressingly for half of the world’s population, women’s health has generally been seen as a dirty word in the medical industry up until recently.

Thankfully, there’s a ray of hope in the form of the burgeoning femtech sector, with brands such as Elvie addressing issues around previously taboo subjects such as sex, periods and birth control.

Launched in 2018, fertility tech company myLotus gives people the tools and information to optimise their chances of having a baby, using an app and ovulation tracker that detects the luteinising hormone in urine.

Ragged Edge was commissioned to relaunch the brand and create a visual identity that would reflect the often unpredictable reality of the conception experience.

Changing the company name from myLotus to Mylo set the tone for the rest of the rebrand by making it feel more contemporary and non-gender specific – something that is key as the company looks to expand its remit and product offer in the future.

A new logo and illustrations feature rough, handmade style edges, and the tone of voice aims to be informative and supportive without being overly scientific.

Meanwhile, the colour palette is made up of a variety of skin tones, complemented by a bright blue accent colour.

“Getting pregnant is not always a matter of time, it’s more a matter of timing,” says Max Ottignon, co-founder of Ragged Edge.

“Mylo gets real about conception. Real information, real empathy, for real women and men facing the realities of trying to have a baby.”

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Derek Abella plays with nostalgia and texture in his ethereal illustrations

“I grew up as an only child in Miami, so I had a lot of time to imagine and observe things,” says New York-based illustrator Derek Abella. “I was lucky to be encouraged by my parents to be creative, getting enrolled in free community art camps during summers throughout my childhood and taking figure drawing classes on weekends in high school. My mom is a librarian, so we had lots of inspiring books around as well.” 

When Abella first started to entertain a career in the creative industries he thought it would be as a concept artist for feature animations, but he kept finding himself drawn to the illustration courses that were on offer at various institutions. “I almost went to Art Center out in California for school, but then ended up at Pratt Institute in New York instead, where editorial and other avenues of illustration were shown to me,” he explains. 

Editorial illustration has since become Abella’s calling, and his portfolio is crammed full of commissions from the likes of the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Guardian, NBC News, Medium and many more.

Top: For the Guardian, Above: New York Times Magazine

The illustrator’s works are created digitally on Photoshop but they feel textured and glow ethereally as though Abella has wrangled blocks of light into recognisable shapes and figures. “It’s interesting because recently, people have been asking me what paints I use in my work or if I scan things and bring them into the computer,” he notes. “I’d like to incorporate analogue things into my work and stop having the computer be so centric to my process, but I appreciate the lack of physical mess and the option to undo things that it brings, which says a lot about my personality.”

Abella describes his work as emotional and dream-like and many of his recent works epitomise warm, summer haziness. “The goal with my work is to make it feel like it’s either a dream or a vignetted piece of a memory. My biggest inspiration is probably growing up in Florida, whether it’s the colours or the blaring sun in a lot of my pieces,” the illustrator explains. “Recently, I’ve been seeking inspiration from photography and film in order to push my execution of lighting and composition. Nostalgia is a key player (or maybe even a culprit) in my life and work, in the end.”

Papá study

Another inspiration is Abella’s Cuban-American roots. “Back in school, I made way more work about Cuba, the diaspora of its people, and being the child of immigrants. I would say much of the tropical and nostalgic elements in my work come from my research and introspection back then,” he explains. “A big source of Cuban inspiration for me are the covers of a magazine called Carteles, which often featured beautiful art deco-inspired illustrations. The art deco vocabulary is also quite present in Miami, so in a way, that style appeals to me because of how it visually bridges Cuba and the States.”

What goes on to make Abella’s work feel even more personal is his exploration of sexuality and relationships within his illustrations, which happened gradually for the illustrator. “Queerness found its way into my work once I found more of my way into queerness,” he explains. “After school, I became more active in the community here in New York, and started making work based on relationships and the time spent thinking about how they can be informed by dualities like loneliness and intimacy, or shame and celebration. One day, I would love to pursue work that discusses being Latinx and queer, but I haven’t found a satisfying solution to that ‘brief’ yet.”  

New York Times

The illustrator’s creative process when starting a new piece starts with putting on music and filling the room with a pleasing scent. “Working from home instead of the studio I used to have before the pandemic has made me really need to transport myself in order to work well,” Abella explains. “I usually go with things I draw in my sketchbook or journal, and then try to get the idea out of my system by making as many pieces as necessary. The Rolodex of things I explore on my own time finds its way into both my personal and commercial work.” 

In his commercial work, Abella enjoys the problem-solving aspect of it. “When someone reaches out to me with a brief, especially one that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with what my other work involves, I like to think about why they chose me, and how I can apply their reasoning to the assignment,” he says. “My favourite subjects involve relationships between people, whether it’s for pieces about online dating, identity politics, or how the pandemic has affected friendships, for example.”

Isolation, New York Times

Even for commercial projects, the work feels personal to Abella and while this allows him to feel a connection with a variety of topics, it does come with its downfalls. “Balancing caring a lot with learning to let go as a professional has been an interesting mental exercise for me,” he says. 

On a broader level, other challenges Abella has faced are the typical financial and moral dilemmas that face many freelancers, but he’s hopeful for change. “It’s been exciting to see the discussions online on getting better (and punctual) pay and equity for creatives, especially BIPOC individuals,” he says. “Hopefully the conversations being had materialise into tangible shifts across the creative world sooner rather than later.”

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Illustrator Marylou Faure on putting together her first monograph

“I saw Malika Favre’s book at her launch and was amazed with all the work she had done. It made me want to have a look at what I had achieved over the last few years,” says Parisian illustrator Marylou Faure, who’s just released her first monograph. “I tend to never look at projects again when they are done and move on to the next, so this was the opportunity to stop and actually acknowledge the work I had produced.” 

Faure’s style is bright and bold, and she’s built up a portfolio of strong work full of collaborations with brands including Nike, Spotify, YouTube, Apple, MTV, Deliveroo and more. Alongside this, Faure has also maintained a self-initiated practice and through this she’s been able to experiment with the female form, colour and composition. 

Cover of Marylou Faure’s first monograph

While she prefers to focus on big swathes of colour in favour of fine detail, her characters are playful, cheeky and full of personality. The book’s design echoes this and working with Céline Leterme and Jon Dowling at Counter-print, Faure wanted to make the book large in scale with full-page illustrations to make it really pop. To add to this sense of vibrancy and joy, the book has also been printed entirely with Pantone colours, elevating the reproductions to art book territory.

“My first thought was to only put in the work that I still liked. I get bored very quickly and I like to think my style keeps evolving, so I’m pretty harsh with my own work when I feel it’s not as good or feels dated,” Faure says of her selection process. “After a few chats with Counter-print, we found that the work could fit nicely in three chapters, focusing on different aspects of my work. The female body had to be one of them, as it’s really the core of my work, and then I thought it’d be interesting to explain a bit more how I create my compositions, as well as talk about the message behind my work.” 

By separating the book into chapters, the book becomes more than a sketchbook or archive of images, and alongside the illustrations are snippets of insight and advice from Faure. Though writing about her own work was a new experience for the illustrator, the biggest challenge was making the illustrations themselves fit together to become a considered collection. “Though that was another advantage with using a strict colour palette, I had to modify a lot of my artwork so the colours would fit in together, and it helped make everything look more harmonious,” explains Faure. “I also had to vectorise all of my work, and that took a lot of time.”

The process of putting together a book has made Faure realise how much work she’s actually produced over the years, despite her initial worries of not being able to fill an entire book’s worth. “It’s a very interesting process, it makes you see how much your style has evolved, and again, as I’m usually quite dismissive of my work when it’s done, it forced me to sit down and go through everything I had done over the last five years,” says Faure.

At just over 200 pages, the monograph feels like a trip through Faure’s imagination, but the illustrator hopes it will be more than a beautiful object. “I just want to share my experience and advice to anyone who’s interested in my work or in becoming an artist.”;

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LSA International's Canopy range takes cues from Eden Project biodomes

Contemporary glassware brand LSA International is showing its handmade and recycled Canopy collection, created together with the Eden Project, as part of the Dezeen x Planted collaboration during this year’s London Design Festival.

The Canopy range comprises drinkware, planters and vases that reference the structure of the biodomes at the Eden Project, the bubble-shaped ecological park in Cornwall designed by Grimshaw Architects.

LSA International's Canopy collection, made with the Eden Project
The bubble-shaped biodomes at Eden Project informed the shapes of vases

All pieces were made from 100 per cent recycled glass, which gives the collection a subtle green hue and helps turn discarded material into something useful for the environment.

“This echoes the founding principles of the Eden Project, to transform and regenerate, exploring our dependence on the natural world and using that understanding to excite people into delivering transformation where they live,” LSA International said.

LSA International's Canopy collection, made with the Eden Project
The recycled glass used for the Canopy range gives it a pale green colour

The Eden Project houses the largest rainforest in captivity in its biodomes. The Canopy collection references these not only in shape, but also because it aims to help propagate and nurture plant life with its bulb planters, closed gardens, terrariums and self-watering planters.

Every component of the products and their packaging is conventionally recyclable or biodegradable or both, with organic vegetable inks used to print the packaging.

Dezeen x Planted

Exhibitor: LSA International
Website: LSA International

Planted is a contemporary design event that aims to reconnect cities with nature and will make its physical debut as part of London Design Festival alongside an online trailer for next year’s main event.

The Dezeen x Planted collaboration presents a series of projects by international designers that align with the ideals of the Planted design event.

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Medical innovations that will revolutionize the future of your healthcare: part 3

The age-old adage goes ‘Health is Wealth’. Not till the pandemic brought all the sci-fi movies we watch to life did we realize how fragile life is. Changes in our lifestyle, be it staying cooped up indoors has made us susceptible – facing challenges from physical health to mental health. The only solution is to stay in tune with the times, take the necessary precaution, and focus on staying healthy – which is what these futuristic innovations are here to do. Each innovative design revolutionizes a part of modern medical diagnostic and treatment to simplify the process, challenge perception while making it easier to diagnose and treat your troubles with ease!

Literally the size of a quarter, Adam Miklosi’s Dab is an unobtrusive Holter ECG/EKG that rests comfortably on your chest, constantly reading your heart’s movements. Designed to be minimal, non-invasive, and simple, the Dab tries to bridge the gap between medical appliances and wearables. Its tiny yet classy design sits on your chest via a gel patch, while the electrodes capture your heart activity. The Dab’s dry-electrodes allow it to be used and reused, while constantly measure one’s heart activity (requiring periodic charging via their wireless charging hub), and keep logs of accurate readings, quietly sitting on your chest while you absolutely forget that they’re even there in the first place!


Research shows that human joint injuries are often recurrent and likely to cause long-term immobility. Designer Natalie Kerres then looked at nature for inspiration to come up with a solution and zeroed down on animals that physically protected from threats by skin, shells, or scales. She wanted to design a product that mimicked the natural protection and healing while allowing flexibility – that is how SCALED was born. “The geometry of animal scales has changed through the process of evolution according to environmental parameters which are critical for survival. A scale structure is capable of impact force distribution and, moreover, is flexible in one direction and limiting/interlocking in another,” she explains.



Deviating from current medical procedures that require surgery, the Bend just needs a long fingernail. A piece of thread is tied to the fingernail at one end, and the Bend splint at the other. The string is then wound around the splint, so that the finger is pulled into shape again, allowing the bones to align properly. The bend even allows for finger movement, letting the patient heal as well as recover from the injury as quick as possible!

The pandemic has seen a surge in the demand of items like masks, face-shields, and PPE, aggravating our plastic waste problem. Countries have ramped up production for medical kits too, and more testing often leads to more waste being created. Fernando Sánchez from Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico proposes a solution to this rising waste problem with his Biodegradable Medical Test kit. Made entirely from plant-based materials that can easily biodegrade into soil, these kits help ramp up testing without leaving a massive ecological footprint behind.

Anish Shakthi’s Kenko laughs in the face of the stereotypical aesthetic of medical products, as it instead carries a stigma-free, far more approachable design style. However, it isn’t just the aesthetics that have received a revamp… the entire user experience has been redesigned; the raised detector gives the user a tactile indication of where to position their finger, whilst the silicone insert can be removed for effective cleaning! Another of Kenko’s features that is rarely seen on a more conventional Oximeter is the OLED Display that provides the user with pointers and information regarding the seamless operation of the device!

Joining this force is Rice University’s Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen (ODEK) who has managed to develop a $300 ventilator with the help of Metric Technologies, named the ApolloBVM. There is a worldwide shortage of medical equipment, especially ventilators as traditionally they are expensive and time-consuming to produce at the rate this virus is moving. ODEK’s alternative costs less than USD 300 and it works on an automated mechanism that squeezes the common bag valve mask ventilation devices that are available in hospitals. This device is usually called an Ambu bag and the ApolloBVM can save the hours that healthcare professionals spend on manually pumping bags when there are no ventilators available. An exhausted human cannot pump air for extended periods of time with the precision of a machine, so with this device, it will be a lot easier to assist patients that need help to breathe. The device will also include feedback sensors that help fine-tune the flow of air to the lungs, as well as motors similar to those that power 3D printers for hours on end.

The team at Cambridge Consultants have designed an electronic strip called Tapp, that uses NFC technology to transfer the medicine’s data (stored on the blister pack) to a dedicated Tapp App. From the App, the user can select the reminder times and integrate other essential information of the prescription. Goals can be set, and reminders can be defined – the idea of this combination is to ensure you take your correct dosage on time. And, that your medical records be updated and handy.



A winner of 2018 Red Dot Award, the NIMB ring offers unprecedented safety in the form of one stylish, compact fashion accessory! When would you need NIMB? Whether you were having a medical emergency or being mugged, it serves as a one-step lifeline for the help you need. At the heart of the design is an integrated panic button that sends an emergency alert through the dedicated smartphone app. It also provides haptic feedback that indicates to the wearer that the message has been sent and help is on the way. Simple, symmetrical, and elegantly polished, it’s as subtle as it is reassuring.



The Steth IO smartphone case modernizes the 200-year-old stethoscope! The design merges the technology, display, and microphone on a smartphone with the time-tested geometry of a stethoscope to create a powerful handheld medical device. The case captures audio sounds made by the lungs or a heartbeat and converts them into a visualization on the screen. Rather than just listening to a heart rhythm like they would using a traditional stethoscope, medical professionals can hear the heartbeat, visualize it, record the data, and review it anytime. Something impossible with a standard stethoscope!

Designers Chris Barnes and others at Cambridge Consultants of Cambridge, UK have designed a wearable health monitor for newborns in areas where current solutions are not easily available. Called ‘Little I’, their innovation empowers parents in low resource countries to monitor the health of their newborns by providing a low-cost, durable device that gives them assurance of their newborn’s survival despite lack of medical knowledge. This service is implemented by NGOs first buying and transporting the device to the community and teaching the workers how to use it. And in parallel, the mother/caregiver would hear about the device within the community and then later be provided one by a health care professional after giving birth. After 28 days, the device is returned which is then cleaned and recharged to be used by another newborn.

For more marvelous Medical Innovations, check out the previous designs in the series!

Architect John Wardle renovates his own house in Australia

Study lined with wood in Kew Residence by John Wardle Architects in Melbourne, Australia

The founder of John Wardle Architects has remodelled Kew Residence, his Melbourne home of 25 years, using Victorian ash and handmade glazed tiles from Japan.

John Wardle and his wife Susan have owned the two-storey house, which has been shortlisted for Dezeen Awards 2020 house interior of the year, for a quarter of a decade and renovated it multiple times.

Exterior of Kew Residence by John Wardle Architects in Melbourne, Australia
Wardle has owned Kew Residence for 25 years

“My first year of practice coincided with my first year of homeownership,” he told Dezeen.

“I undertook the pre-purchase inspection of the house and completely missed the tell-tale sign of termite infestation throughout which required a more substantial re-build than first anticipated!” he added.

“Three children wore out the last iteration.”

Study desk and shelves in Kew Residence by John Wardle Architects in Melbourne, Australia
Victorian ash lines the walls, floors and ceilings

With the couple’s adult children now grown up and moved out, the kitchen and the first-floor study became the focal point of the house.  For this version of Kew Residence, the architect focused on creating spaces to display his art collection.

“Of particular interest to me is the study especially during this time in lockdown, as I spend just about all my daylight hours solely in this space,” said Wardle.

Here, built-in shelves form an informal display for the couple’s collection of ceramic art and sculpture.

Study bookshelves in Kew Residence by John Wardle Architects in Melbourne, Australia
Built-in bookshelves line the study

Victorian ash clads the floors and ceiling to create the sensation of a “cocoon” with views of the leafy garden beyond.

“The corner window arrangement is a direct reference to a composition of the window seat in the living room of the Fisher House in Pennsylvania by Louis Kahn,” explained the architect.

“My arrangement of five windowpanes, ventilation panel and a window seat is abstracted from the original as I’ve arranged them around my view out across Melbourne.”

Shelf of ceramics in Kew Residence by John Wardle Architects in Melbourne, Australia
The architect collects Japanese sculptures

The wood also forms plinths for displaying certain sculptures and acts as a neutral backdrop for the art displayed on shelves.

For many years I’ve had a fascination for ceramics both as objects and the process of their making and have collected many objects from many places over time,” said the architect.

My travels to Japan have resulted in many of my favourite pieces.”

Victorian Ash staircase in Kew Residence by John Wardle Architects in Melbourne, Australia
The staircase is also made from Victorian ash

Concealed sliding panels, discrete hand pulls and hidden cupboards conceal storage throughout Kew Residence.

Wardle designed the joinery, including the built-in bookcases and main staircase, himself and had it built by expert craftspeople.

Kitchen with Japanese tiles in Kew Residence by John Wardle Architects in Melbourne, Australia
Wood and ceramic tiles in the kitchen

His choice of timber, Victorian ash, is the main material used throughout the house.

“I’ve always had an affinity for this beautiful primary indigenous species,” said Wardle.

“Vast forests of this majestic tree were decimated in bushfires here in Australia earlier this year, unfortunately. It’s not something I would feel confident in specifying again until substantial regrowth occurs.”

Kitchen splashback in Kew Residence by John Wardle Architects in Melbourne, Australia
Grooved tiles form a tall splashback in the kitchen

The timber features in the kitchen too, alongside dark and striking ceramic tiles made by INAX in Japan. These narrow, concave tiles have been arranged vertically to create an interestingly textured splashback that reaches to the wood-lined ceiling.

INAX tiles also line the master bathroom, which was built in an earlier extension to Kew Residence.

Japanese Inax tiles in bathroom in Kew Residence by John Wardle Architects in Melbourne, Australia
INAX tiles from Japan feature in the bathroom

Wardle has visited Tokoname, where the makers live, and Kew Residence features five different styles of the ceramic tiles.

“Our practice has a long association with INAX, the Japanese tile manufacturer, having used their tiles in the suspended gallery in our Phoenix project, as well as 60,000 plus individual tiles embedded into the concrete facade panels of our Melbourne Conservatorium project,” said Wardle.

“The ancestors of INAX produced the tiles so loved by Frank Lloyd Wright and his partners and used to great effect on the Imperial Hotel.”

Japanese Inax tiles in bathroom in Kew Residence by John Wardle Architects in Melbourne, Australia
Five different kinds of tiles decorate the house

Phoenix Central Park, an arts venue designed jointly by John Wardle Architects and Durbach Block Jaggers, has also been shortlisted for Dezeen Awards 2020.

Earlier this year Wardle was awarded the Gold Medal from the Australian Institute of Architects.

Photography is by Trevor Mein and Sharyn Cairns.

Project credits:

Architect: John Wardle Architects
Project director: John Wardle
Model maker and designer: Andrew Wong
PA: Luca Vezzosi
Interior Designer: Jeff Arnold, Elisabetta Zanella
Construction: Overend Construction
Structural Engineer: 4 Site Engineers
Building Services Engineer: JWA
Building Surveyor: Sampson Wong

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Lightweight, rotatable, and foldable – Kooke portable gas stove is here to upgrade your camping style!

Given the current scenario, you’d definitely be itching to get to the outdoors and be sure of making the most of the opportunity. Stepping beyond borders is not something that’s going to happen anytime soon without compromising health, so the easiest option is to remain local. No matter the location you pick to camp in, you want to be extra cautious with what you eat (keeping the immune system strong is important), and a camping stove that helps you cook up fresh healthy food is exactly what you need!

When you look up a portable stove for the next outdoor adventure you will find a range of them available the moment you press the magical search button. What you’re unlikely to find is a compact and foldable stove that’ll take away half your packing woes before gearing up for the camp. The Kooke Portable Stove makes an impression with its lightweight, rotatable, and foldable form factor. When you want to use it – swivel open the gas stove from its plastic housing, pull out the burner stands, slot in the fuel can, and voila you’re done! A rotatable controller on the face of the stove lets you switch the gas on and control the flame. Kooke can be easily folded back, to store after use, occupying little possible storage space. Interestingly, the portable stove is easy to carry with a handle on the plastic case and fits the bill in the outdoors with both function and appearance.

The award-winning Kooke portable gas stove comes in two colors, black and champagne gold. Using and storing it shouldn’t be a fuss because that’s pretty much why this is designed in the first place making it perfect size to take on long hike or camp in nature where a hot meal wouldn’t come easy. Using it under vigil is important for it doesn’t have a windshield around the burner, which can be a situation in windy outdoors. Nonetheless, we are ready to pack this on our next trip, what’s your take?

Designer: Hao-Jhang Cyue of Ace Right Corp

Alessi reissues Richard Sapper's "masterpiece" Plico trolley

Products fair: Plico is a folding trolley cum portable desk that was originally created by German industrial designer Richard Sapper in 1976 and is now being re-released by his frequent collaborator, the Italian brand Alessi.

The design features four wheels and two shelves, allowing it to be used as a food or bar cart, while the top shelf can be flipped vertically by 180 degrees to act as a work surface and side table.

Plico folding trolley and desk by Richard Sapper, reissued by Alessi
Plico can be used as a desk or a trolley for food and drink

When not in use, the shelves can be collapsed downwards and the back legs folded inwards to create a flat, compact unit. This means the product can be easily stored where space is at a premium, fitting neatly behind doors or in cupboards.

Thanks to the brakes on its two hind wheels, the product can stand on its own even when folded up.

“The Plico trolley is probably even more relevant today than when it was first designed because space has become ever more valuable, especially in apartments in urban areas,” the late designer’s daughter Carola Sapper told Dezeen.

Plico folding trolley and desk by Richard Sapper, reissued by Alessi
Legs fold down so Plico can be stored in small spaces

Its linear, black steel frame is reminiscent of one of Sapper’s most well-known designs, the Tizio desk lamp, which was created for Italian lighting brand Artemide and forms part of the permanent design collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).

According to Alessi president Alberto Alessi, the trolley represents a continuation of this legacy, as a “Sapper-style masterpiece” that is relentlessly functional but still displays a “strong personality”.

“He always said that a product should ‘tell a story’, that is why many of his designs have a sculptural quality and a character,” agreed Carola Sapper.

“They can assume a very different look depending on whether they are being used and have to function or are being stored away and need to move into the background.”

Plico folding trolley and desk by Richard Sapper, reissued by Alessi
Alessi is re-releasing Sapper designs

Another Sapper design that has been re-released in the last year is the self-righting Static clock, which he originally fashioned from salvaged second-world-war torpedoes.

The reissues form part of a wider push by the Sapper family to immortalise the designer’s vast body of work.

“As a family, we are currently working on organising his archive. My father was very prolific so this will take some time but we hope that once the archive is in good shape, we will be able to show his work in exhibitions,” said Sapper.

“My father has created some very innovative and significant products in the golden era of design. His work is part of the history of design and I believe it is important to try to preserve it for future generations to see.”

Plico folding trolley and desk by Richard Sapper, reissued by Alessi
Plico has a black steel frame

Other seminal products by Sapper, who passed away in 2016 after an almost 60-year career, include the 9091 harmonic whistling kettle, the rocket-shaped 9090 espresso maker and the conical Todo cheese grater, all created for Alessi.

Product: Plico trolley
Designer: Richard Sapper
Brand: Alessi

About Dezeen’s products fair: the products fair offers an affordable launchpad for new products. For more details email

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Listen Up

Heady teases of psychedelia, glittering synths, celebratory reggae and more music from the week

Toots & The Maytals: Funky Kingston

Singer-songwriter for Toots & The Maytals, multi-instrumentalist and reggae pioneer Frederick “Toots” Hibbert has passed away in Kingston, Jamaica—the birthplace of the music he helped create. His 1968 song “Do The Reggay” remains widely believed to be the first to namecheck reggae (at the time a fledgling genre influenced by mento—Jamaican folk music that combines elements from Africa and Europe—as well as jazz and R&B, calypso, ska and rocksteady). Hibbert’s parents were preachers and he grew up singing at church before meeting future bandmates Nathaniel “Jerry” Matthias and Henry “Raleigh” Gordon at a barbershop in Kingston in the early ’60s. Known as The Maytals, the trio released ska music and won the 1966 Jamaica Festival Song Competition for “Bam Bam.” After an 18-month prison sentence for marijuana possession, Hibbert returned and wrote “54-46 (That’s My Number)” about his time incarcerated. It became one of the first reggae songs to garner attention and affection outside Jamaica. On 1975’s “Funky Kingston,” his sometimes gritty, always striking voice—tinged with elements of gospel, soul and R&B—calls out his message: “Music is what I’ve got to give, and I’ve got to find some way to make it… Funky Kingston is what I’ve got for you.” He leaves behind an undeniably influential, special and joyful legacy.

Pynkie: Love Theme

The second single from Pynkie’s album #37 (out 16 October), “Love Theme” tells the tale of wistful romance. Over subdued percussion, glittering synths and sporadic abstract sound effects, Pynkie (aka Lindsey Radice) sings breathily, “Some day you’ll give me the time and I’ll blow your mind / Some day you’ll give me the time and I’ll call you mine.” A hook consisting of pretty ad-libs leads to lilting harmonies, and the gauzy song finishes as effortlessly as it begins.

Still Woozy: BS

Still Woozy’s new self-produced single “BS” proves short and sweet but layered. Soft digital drums and synths form the song’s foundation, while distorted echoes, breathy harmonies and ad-libs add to the overall breezy feel. It’s another genre-blending release from Still Woozy (aka Sven Gamsky) who also self-directed the song’s off-kilter visual treatment.

Andy Bell: I Was Alone

A meditation on loneliness, with heady teases of psychedelia, Andy Bell’s “I Was Alone” follows up his debut solo single “Love Comes in Waves” from earlier this year. Both songs will appear on Bell’s debut solo album, The View From Halfway Down, out 9 October. Singer-songwriter and guitarist Bell, a founding member of the British shoegaze group Ride (and an Oasis bassist for several years), says lockdown gave him the impetus to finish this solo album, which he’s been working on for four years.

United Shapes: Fractalvision

From Austin’s oddball indie-pop duo United Shapes comes “Fractalvision,” another mind-bending invitation to their forthcoming “first-ever studio album” (but ninth album overall), Compound Shapes (out 16 October). “We didn’t want the album to be about the compound words in the titles in a literal sense,” singer/multi-instrumentalist Joseph Devens explains about the concept album in a statement. “We decided to let the word inspire the song and its lyrics in an abstract way.” Abstract certainly defines “Fractalvision,” but it also happens to be fun from start to finish.

Listen Up is published every Sunday and rounds up the new music we found throughout the week. Hear the year so far on our Spotify channel. Hero image courtesy of Pynkie